Acid Reflux and Ulcer News:
Bypass Surgery Not Only Aids Weight Loss But Relievers GERD:
say patients who undergo minimally invasive gastric bypass surgery
to treat their obesity are also finding the weight loss relieves
bothersome gastrointestinal symptoms.
Acid Reflux and Ulcer News:
Drug Allows Heart Patients With Ulcers to Take Aspirin:
with heart disease were able to take a baby aspirin every day as
a inexpensive and effective means to prevent blood clots.
May Soon Become Available Without Prescription:
FDA advisory panel vote means the prescription heartburn remedy
Prilosec may soon become the first drug in its class available over-the-counter.
Drug Used to Treat Muscle Spasms, May Also Help With GERD:
say a drug that acts on the spinal cord and nerves may be a useful
therapy in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Helps Patients Choose Foods That Will Not Trigger Heartburn:
help heartburn sufferers stay away from troublesome foods and beverages,
the National Heartburn Alliance has developed the Stop and Select
Guide to help prevent heartburn before it starts.
Pylori Bacteria Adds to Damage Aspirin Can Cause to Stomach Lining:
Researchers say animal tests suggest that infection with H. pylori
worsens aspirin-caused ulcers, causing more widespread tissue erosion
Found in Broccoli Kills Helicobacter Pylori Bacteria:
Researchers found that purified sulforaphane even killed H. pylori
that was resistant to commonly prescribed antibiotics.
Finds Prevacid® Highly Effective in Treating Erosive Esophagitis:
A study found most patients treated for erosive esophagitis, which
is characterized by frequent and persistent heartburn, still healed
after one year.
Million Cases of GERD Per Year Reported in United States:
Researchers report that Americans spend an estimated $9.3 billion
per year dealing with the second most prevalent of all gastrointestinal
and liver conditions.
and Antibiotics Clear Up H. Pylori Infections in Seven Days: Researchers
report that the treatment for the most common cause of peptic ulcers
is as effective as a 10-day treatment with Prilosec® and antibiotics.
Test Can Detect Bacteria That Causes Ulcers:
The new breath test, where a patient simply blows into a tube, can
detect the presence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria.
Heartburn Can Lead to Dangerous Complications:
A painful condition that affects 50 million people, researchers
say nighttime heartburn can be more severe than daytime heartburn
and lead to significant complications like sleep deprivation, respiratory
illnesses and even cancer.
With GERD More Likely to Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
Patients with gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD) have a higher
incidence of irritable bowel syndrome, according to researchers
at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the University of California
in Los Angeles.
Cough in GERD Patients Not Always Caused by Acid:
Researchers report that for these patients, antireflux surgery can
eliminate or significantly improve the chronic cough,
Procedure for Treating GERD Shows Positive Results:
Minimally invasive, outpatient procedure uses precisely controlled
radiofrequency energy to create thermal lesions in the muscle of
the lower esophageal sphincter.
Who Suffer from GERD Have More Coughs and Nasal Congestion: People
who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), are also
more likely to suffer nasal congestion and other respiratory problems,
according to a new study.
for Recurring Heartburn May Not Lower Esophageal Cancer Risk: Researchers
said that patients who undergo surgery to treat gastro esophageal
reflux disease (GERD) may not lower their risk of esophageal cancer
risk or eliminate the need for antacids years later.
Pylori Infection Leads to Much Quicker GERD Relapse: People
infected with helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria are likely
to suffer a relapse of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) much
more quickly than those in whom H. pylori has been eradicated, according
to a Swiss study.
disease, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is
a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter
(LES)--the muscle connecting the esophagus with the stomach. Many
people, including pregnant women, suffer from heartburn or acid
indigestion caused by GERD. Doctors believe that some people suffer
from GERD due to a condition called hiatal hernia.
What Is Gastro-esophageal reflux? Gastroesophageal refers to the
stomach and esophagus. Reflux means to flow back or return. Therefore,
gastroesophageal reflux is the return of the stomach's contents
back up into the esophagus
In normal digestion,
the LES opens to allow food to pass into the stomach and closes
to prevent food and acidic stomach juices from flowing back into
the esophagus. Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the LES is weak
or relaxes inappropriately allowing the stomach's contents to flow
up into the esophagus.
of GERD depends on LES dysfunction as well as the type and amount
of fluid brought up from the stomach and the neutralizing effect
believe a hiatal hernia may weaken the LES and cause reflux. Hiatal
hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach moves up into the
chest through a small opening in the diaphragm (diaphragmatic hiatus).
Studies show that hiatal hernia results in retention of acid and
other contents above this opening. These substances can reflux easily
into the esophagus. Many otherwise healthy people age 50 and over
have a small hiatal hernia. Although considered a condition of middle
age, hiatal hernias affect people of all ages.
called acid indigestion, is the most common symptom of GERD and
usually feels like a burning chest pain beginning behind the breastbone
and moving upward to the neck and throat. Many people say it feels
like food is coming back into the mouth leaving an acid or bitter
taste. The burning, pressure, or pain of heartburn can last as long
as 2 hours and is often worse after eating. Lying down or bending
over can also result in heartburn. Many people obtain relief by
standing upright or by taking an antacid that clears acid out of
can be mistaken for the pain associated with heart disease or a
heart attack, but there are differences. Exercise may aggravate
pain resulting from heart disease, and rest may relieve the pain.
Heartburn pain is less likely to be associated with physical activity.
More than 60
million American adults experience Gerd and heartburn at least once
a month, and about 25 million adults suffer daily from heartburn.
lifestyle and dietary changes for most people with GERD. Treatment
aims at decreasing the amount of reflux or reducing damage to the
lining of the esophagus from refluxed materials. Avoiding foods
and beverages that can weaken the LES is recommended. These foods
include chocolate, peppermint, fatty foods, coffee, and alcoholic
beverages. Foods and beverages that can irritate a damaged esophageal
lining, such as citrus fruits and juices, tomato products, and pepper,
should also be avoided.
size of portions at mealtime may also help control symptoms. Eating
meals at least 2 to 3 hours before bedtime may lessen reflux by
allowing the acid in the stomach to decrease and the stomach to
empty partially. In addition, being overweight often worsens symptoms.
Many overweight people find relief when they lose weight.
weakens the LES. Therefore, stopping smoking is important to reduce
head of the bed on 6-inch blocks or sleeping on a specially designed
wedge reduces heartburn by allowing gravity to minimize reflux of
stomach contents into the esophagus.
regularly can neutralize acid in the esophagus and stomach and stop
heartburn. Many people find that nonprescription antacids provide
temporary or partial relief. An antacid combined with a foaming
agent such as alginic acid helps some people. These compounds are
believed to form a foam barrier on top of the stomach that prevents
acid reflux from occuring.
of antacids, however, can result in side effects, including diarrhea,
altered calcium metabolism (a change in the way the body breaks
down and uses calcium), and buildup of magnesium in the body. Too
much magnesium can be serious for patients with kidney disease.
If antacids are needed for more than 3 weeks, a doctor should be
reflux and heartburn, the doctor may prescribe medications to reduce
acid in the stomach. These medicines include H2 blockers, which
inhibit acid secretion in the stomach. Currently, four H2 blockers
are available: cimetidine, famotidine, nizatidine, and ranitidine.
Another type of drug, the proton pump (or acid pump) inhibitor omeprazole
inhibits an enzyme (a protein in the acid-producing cells of the
stomach) necessary for acid secretion. The acid pump inhibitor lansoprazole
is currently under investigation as a new treatment for GERD.
to therapy will increase the strength of the LES and quicken emptying
of stomach contents with motility drugs that act on the upper gastrointestinal
(GI) tract. These drugs include bethanechol and metoclopramide.
People with severe,
chronic esophageal reflux or with symptoms not relieved by the treatment
described above may need more complete diagnostic evaluation. Doctors
use a variety of tests and procedures to examine a patient with chronic
An upper GI series may be performed during the early phase of testing.
This test is a special x-ray that shows the esophagus, stomach, and
duodenum (the upper part of the small intestine). While an upper GI
series provides limited information about possible reflux, it is used
to rule out other diagnoses, such as peptic ulcers.
A small number
of people with GERD may need surgery because of severe reflux and
poor response to medical treatment. Fundoplication is a surgical
procedure that increases pressure in the lower esophagus. However,
surgery should not be considered until all other measures have been
results in serious complications. Esophagitis can occur as a result
of too much stomach acid in the esophagus. Esophagitis may cause
esophageal bleeding or ulcers. In addition, a narrowing or stricture
of the esophagus may occur from chronic scarring. Some people develop
a condition known as Barrett's esophagus, which is severe damage
to the skin-like lining of the esophagus. Doctors believe this condition
may be a precursor to esophageal cancer.
provided by: The National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive
& Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda,